Harvey Weinstein remained silent during first day of sexual assault trial


Harvey Weinstein remained silent during the first day of his sexual assault trial in New York City on Monday (06.01.20).

The 67-year-old disgraced producer is facing trial in Manhattan on five counts pertaining to sexual assault, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act.

And on the first day of court proceedings - which began with a 90 minute final status conference - the movie mogul, who has denied all allegations against him, chose to remain silent.

According to an account of the first day of the trial posted by The Wrap, Weinstein spent the duration of the conference taking notes from his seat alongside his defence team, consisting of attorneys Damon Cheronis, Donna Rotunno, Arthur Aidala, Diana Fabi-Samson and Barry Kamins.

On the other side of the courtroom was Joan Illuzi-Orbon, the assistant district attorney leading the prosecution on the case, as well as Gloria Allred who represents Mimi Haleyi, one of the women whose accusations form the basis of the criminal charges against Weinstein.

Allred also chose to stay silent during the proceedings, but held a brief press conference outside the courthouse after the morning's events had concluded.

During the 90 minute hearing, Justice James Burke - who is the judge presiding over the case - ruled on several motions put forward by both the defence and the prosecution.

The judge denied a defence request to sequester the jury and ruled that an NYPD detective who was removed from the police investigation cannot be called to testify.

He also denied the prosecution's request for a gag order to preclude the defence from speaking about the case outside the courtroom, but told Weinstein's attorneys to "leave the witnesses alone."

Weinstein's trial will continue on Tuesday (07.01.20), with the prescreening process for potential jurors.

The process is expected to last at least two weeks due to the publicised nature of the case, as Justice James Burke said it has been "hard" to find "fair and impartial jury".